Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Taking Stock: May 2016



Reading: Going Postal, possibly my favorite Terry Pratchett book of all time; The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and a bunch of comics. I’m finally dipping into Marvel and loving it, especially Daredevil. Also Jeffrey Brown’s Star Wars books, which are too cute to pass up.
Eating: Curry shrimp for Mother’s Day.
Drinking: Homemade lemonade.
Binging: Law & Order: SVU and New Girl.
Missing: The beach. The boardwalk. Dune fries.
Loving: Mermaids, pretty journals, and superhero aesthetic boards on Pinterest.
Cooing: Over the Lego Batman trailers, which I somehow missed until now. Clearly this movie will be a work of art.
Craving: Violet lemonade. Rose lemonade. Any kind of lemonade.
Making: Eggs-in-a-basket. They’re delicious and I’m a little obsessed with finding the perfect flipping technique, since I obviously have nothing better to do than make sure my eggs are set but not too set.
Reorganizing: My desk. It’s the one spot in my bedroom that I clean on anything like a regular basis.
Searching: For a job. It’s about as fun and stress-free as you’d expect.
Listening: “Walkabout” by The Augustines, “Release” by Pearl Jam.

Picture credits: X, X, X

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Power of Words Tag


Loads of love go to Abbie for nominating me. Nothing makes me happier than just the right combination of words, so this should be lots of fun!

~ Thank the person who nominated you and give a link to their blog.
~ Answer the original 6 text-themed questions.
~ Add a typography/word-related question of your own for those you tagged to answer.
~ Tag 6+ bloggers and let them know.
~ Include these rules in your post.

1. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?
A, since it’s both the first letter of the alphabet and the first letter of my name. Also S, because it’s in a lot of pretty words like sea, siren, and stardust. H for home, P for pink.

2. What are three words you love?
I covered some of them in this post, so here are three more: mountains, wolf, slipper.

3. What are three words you hate?
Exegesis, orifice, dribbling. Any long, complicated word used in place of a shorter, simpler word.

4. If you were to create a word, what would it be, and what would it describe?
I’m honestly not sure. They’re so many neat words out there that I have a hard time thinking of something new. My brain’s drawing one huge blank.

5. What are your three favorite punctuation marks?
I’d never thought of this until now! Commas, semicolons, and question marks: , ; ?

6. What are three of your favorite fonts?
I like Coffee Break, Times New Roman, and whatever the heck font they use on the covers of the Artemis Fowl books.

7. Abbie’s question: If you could change the way one word sounded, which would it be and how would it sound?
Again, I’m coming up blank. I did mispronounce a ton of words when I was younger, though: wiolin instead of violin, doity instead of dirty, Herminoin instead of Hermione. I guess I’m all out of alternate sounds.

Okay, I nominate Alyssa, Christina, Joni, Kelsey, Rachana, and Lydia. My question is:
Do you know of a word that looks better than it sounds?

No pressure, but I’d love to see your answers!

Picture credit: X

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Writing Updates + Lemonade Recipe


So far, May has been pretty uneventful but productive, which makes me happy. I’m deep in the midst of first-drafting--in some ways my favorite part of writing and in other ways my least favorite, since every story is so MESSY and convoluted. But things are moving along steadily(ish) for the first time in ages, so I can’t complain too much.

At the moment I’m working on two stories, one short and one (hopefully) book-length. Book-Length Story is about ghosts, psychopomps, and the West Virginia Panhandle, and is so far a complete mess but one I’m really enjoying working on. There’s something a bit magical about writing two characters who have chemistry--not romantic chemistry, but the ability to hold interesting conversations and work off each other. I’m always a little surprised when that happens; it’s not something you can force.

Short Story is about mermaids, Peter Pan, and Neverland. Mostly mermaids. My twin sister and I used to get into arguments about the best spots in Neverland. I always wanted to live in the Mermaids’ Lagoon, and she always wanted to live with the Indians. The seed of this story has been in my head for a very long time, and I was actually trying to write something else when it more or less forced its way onto the page. Like Book-Length Story, it needs work, but for now I’m having a ton of fun watching the first draft come together.

Okay, on to the recipe!

This week, one of my other sisters (I have three) taught me how to make lemonade out of fresh-squeezed lemons. This recipe only makes one serving, but it’s easy to double and delicious. Plus there’s nothing more summery than lemonade.

2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 lemon

Boil the water and sugar to make a simple syrup. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a tall glass already filled with ice. Pour in the simple syrup, fill the glass with cold water, and mix well.

And those are the most interesting things I’ve done this month. How have your summers been going?

Watercolor garland from Angie Makes.  
Picture credit:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

On Writing Slowly


To begin: I absolutely am not trying to throw shade at anyone who writes fast. Everyone’s process is different, and I wish I could write a book in a month or turn out perfectly polished short stories regularly. I wish I could, but the more I write the more I realize that I never will be able to, and that’s okay.

I’ve never been an especially fast writer. When I first started writing “seriously” (I was around twelve, and everything I wrote was a poorly-disguised rip-off of something else.) I set myself a goal--something like 2-3 pages a day. That’s more or less the limit I stick to now, though some days I can’t even make that. (My stories are still rip-offs, by the way. Just better-disguised ones. :))

Keeping a strict schedule is also a sticking point for me. I used to write every day, but not anymore. Most days, yes. Every day, no. Sometimes it just comes down to laziness, but other times I do need space to mull over the plot a little. I’m a pantser, and also super disorganized, so if I don’t keep reminding myself to hit the main points, nothing will happen plot-wise and I’ll be left wondering why I ever decided to write this stupid story in the first place.

Basically, I’m not one of those people who can write a novel in a month, or even two months, without it being a hopeless mess. Which is the point, but half the fun of writing is, at least for me, taking the time to get to know the characters, sink into the setting, and enjoy the story. I can’t do that when I’m worrying about word or page counts.

I used to feel guilty about writing slowly, or about the days where I wasn’t able to write at all. To be honest, I still do. Every time NaNoWriMo rolls around I wonder if maybe this is the year I’ll give it a try. And maybe one year I will.  But for now, I’m trying to be happy with the process I have.

Everyone has a different process. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and no one way is objectively better than the others. If you write fast and love it, keep writing fast. If writing slowly works for you, stick with that. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but know your strengths. And enjoy what you have now. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Do you write quickly or slowly? What does your process look like?

Picture Credit: X

Sunday, May 1, 2016

After the End

Or, finals are over and I have no idea what to do with myself. This is the first weekend in months that I don’t have homework I could/should be doing. It’s a bizarre feeling. I’ve been trying to catch up on reading, which helps--I just finished Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire. It’s a middle-grade Regency steampunk set on Mars, and exactly as much fun as it sounds. Very Diana Wynne Jones-esque, which is one of the highest compliments I can give to a book.

During summer, I always promise myself that I’ll read a bunch of books and write a bunch of stories before deciding that I’d much rather binge watch Supernatural for three months straight. So, yeah, I’m not expecting to be super-productive this time around, but I am hoping to keep up with writing and blogging. Maybe cook something. This morning I had avocado on toast, which is probably the closest I’ve come to cooking anything all semester. Still, it was delicious.

I’ve also resolved to not start a project unless it’s something I honestly want to write. I have a habit of starting projects more out of a compulsion to just write something than because I love (or even like) the idea itself. Sometimes it works, but mostly I end up with a bunch of soulless, half-finished drafts. Obviously I don’t have to be wildly in love with an idea from the get-go, but there needs to be a spark of something--a sentence, a mood, a character--for me to work with.

And, yep, still working on the scarf. IT WILL NEVER BE DONE.

All pictures belong to their original owners.